Life is filled with impossible-sounding tasks.
How will I pay next month’s rent when I don’t know where the money will come from? How can I find a job when I don’t have any specific skills? How can I be happy when life is so depressing? What can I do so my children (spouse?) will stop driving me crazy? You could probably add to this list from your own life.
This is not a new problem. We are not the only ones who have faced situations that appeared to have no good outcome.
In Exodus, Chapter three, God gave Moses a humanly impossible job to do. God asked him to lead His own people, the Jews, out of slavery. There were a lot of reasons why that would seem impossible. The Jews had been enslaved by Egypt, the most powerful nation on earth, for 400 hundred years, and they were enduring more and more cruel treatment. On the one hand, Moses had spent the first 40 years of his life in Egypt’s palace, so he undoubtedly knew some powerful people. Unfortunately, though, he had been in hiding out in the desert for the last 40 years. He was on the run from their authorities because he had killed an Egyptian soldier. Moses must have even wondered if he would be arrested if he returned to Egypt.
All of those problems were not lost on Moses when God spoke to him and told him to come out of hiding and announce himself as the leader of the Jews. Moses anticipated that the other Jews would have serious objections to him showing up unelected and taking a position of leadership. Knowing that he had very little credibility, Moses knew that the average Jew was not likely to take him seriously.
In his response to God’s direction, Moses had a lot of questions. He needed to know what God wanted him to say when the Jews asked, “What right do you have to be our leader? (See Exodus 3:13.) God’s response was unexpected I am sure, but it also was life-changing: “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ … This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations” (Exodus 3:14–15).
That description of God was all the authority that Moses needed. The name “I AM” means that God is totally sufficient in Himself (i.e. He doesn’t need anything or anyone else). It means that He is unchanging, eternal and that He always accomplishes His will. All those things are wrapped up in the name “I AM.” When THAT God speaks, we know that His character is perfect and that His will is unchangeable.
Think about it this way. If you needed to move a big, 250-pound rock, it wouldn’t do you any good to ask me to do it. It wouldn’t matter how hard I tried, I’m not moving that rock. On the other hand, if Fletcher Cox, a 310 pound, 6’4” defensive tackle for the Eagles, promised to move your 250-pound rock, there is no question that he could do it!
Here is the point. Impossible situations become possible when an all-powerful God promises to solve them. The Bible puts it this way, “‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You” (Jeremiah 32:17).
It is even more amazing that the One who lived a perfect life and died for our sin is this great “I AM.” The book of John in the Bible makes this abundantly clear. Eight times in the gospel of John, Jesus applies two Greek words “ego” and “eimi” to Himself. Both words mean, “I AM” so there is no doubt that He is using two words that mean the same as the Hebrew word translated “I AM that I AM,” the same word that God used to describe Himself in Exodus 3:14-15.
Space will only permit me to share one example from John. (If you would like to know where to find all eight, just let me know).
One day Jesus was directing His remarks to some contentious Jewish religious leaders, and He gave them this warning: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins” (John 8:23–24).
Because Jesus is the “I AM,” when He returns to earth, “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10). If you want a relationship with Jesus, you must embrace Him for who He is, not just for what you may imagine Him to be. Because of Who He is, we can: “Trust in the Lord [literally, “I AM that I AM”] forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock” (Isaiah 26:4).
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and know Him as the great “I AM,” then you will never face a difficulty that the greatness of God cannot solve. With the Apostle Paul, you can say, “I can do all things through [Jesus] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
That is why the Bible can promise us that “… God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Albert Simpson wrote a hymn in 1905 that asks two very challenging questions.
What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be,
Someday your heart will be asking,
“What will he do with me?”